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Full text of "A history of Persia"

AGGRESSION ON AFGHANISTAN      427
had been seated on his throne wearing the " robes of
wrath," and that they would be struck with terror and
retire. But, unfortunately for the Shah, the Russians
are a brave and not an imaginative people.
An interesting description of the appearance of Fath
AH Shah is given by Sir Robert Ker Porter,1 who travelled
through Persia in 1818-20.
He was one blaze of jewels, which literally dazzled the sight
on first looking at him ; but the details of his dress were these:
A lofty tiara of three elevations was on his head, which shape
appears to have been long peculiar to the crown of the great king.
It was entirely composed of thickly-set diamonds, pearls, rubies,
and emeralds, so exquisitely disposed as to form a mixture of the
most beautiful colours in the brilliant light reflected from its sur-
face. Several black feathers, like the heron plume, were intermixed
with the resplendent aigrettes of this truly imperial diadem, whose
bending points were finished with pear-formed pearls of an im-
mense size. The vesture was gold tissue, nearly covered with a
similar disposition of jewelry ; and crossing the shoulders were
two strings ,*of pearls, probably the largest in the world. I call
his dress a vesture, because it set close to his person, from the
neck to the bottom of the waist, showing a shape as noble as
his air.
At that point, it developed downwards in loose drapery, like
the usual Persian garment, and was of the same costly materials
with the vest. But for splendour, nothing could exceed the
broad bracelet round his arms and the belt which encircled his
waist \ they actually blazed like fire when the rays of the sun
met them.
The Accession of Mohamed Shah, 1834.—The death of
Fath All Shah unchained fierce rivalries, and it was seen
that two of his sons, the Farman Farma and the Zil-u-
Sultan, Governors of Fars and Teheran respectively, were
prepared, to bid for the throne. Fortunately for the
rightful heir, the British Envoy, Sir John Campbell, was
at Tabriz, and by his assistance, both moral and material,
and that of the Russian representative, the new Shah was
able to march on Teheran at the head of a considerable
force commanded by Sir Henry Lindsay Bethune. ^ The
circumstance that he was accompanied by the Ministers
of Great Britain and Russia caused the desertion of the
1  Travels in Georgia, Persia, etc., vol. i. pp. 325-26 (London, 1821).